Albion has shot to the top of the table of Gunnedah district cricket after a comprehensive 129-run victory over Kookaburras.

Albion captain and opening bowler Ash White was the star at Wolseley Oval, claiming an emphatic 7/13 that included his second hat-trick in Gunnedah first grade cricket.

White’s previous treble of consecutive wickets was a stunning spell of 7/2 against the same opposition in the 2018/19 season and he 
reproduced a similarly devastating opening spell at the weekend.

Although losing the toss and sent in by Kookaburras on a lively green wicket, Albion’s batting openers Bailey Lennox and Damien Baldwin were cautious early but progressed the score to 65 without loss.

Their partnership was broken in the 14th over when Baldwin skied a mistimed drive and was caught off the bowling of Bailey Keeler for 27.

Lennox remained the rock for Albion, batting the majority of the innings until dismissed for a game and team-high 63 runs – caught off the bowling of Kookaburras’ Jayden Winsor.

Lennox’s innings laid a solid foundation for Albion which allowed for lower-order hitting towards the back end of its 40-over innings.

Captain White and Andrew Osmond landed some lusty blows – White contributing 15 runs and Osmond 20 in a brisk stand of 45 for the seventh wicket which catapulted the Albion total from 175 to 220 from its 40 overs.

Best of the Kookaburras’ bowling was Pete Mahy with 3/41 while off-spinner Winsor chimed in with 2/46 and Shayne Riordan was a constant threat, although failing to register a wicket, to be luckless in his eight-over spell conceding just 20 runs.

White turned his hand to bowling and immediately had the Kookaburras’ batting line-up in tremors, as he claimed a hat-trick spanned over his first two overs. 

All wickets hit the stumps in a stunning display of fast bowling and after four overs, the Kookaburras’ run chase was in tatters at 4/14 with White claiming all four wickets.

Opening bowling partner Mark Ewington chimed in with a wicket at the other end, and after the opening 10 overs of their run chase, Kookaburras were all but bowled out of the game having been restricted to 5/31.

The innings petered out although a brief resistance from opening bat Jayden Winsor, who top scored with 16, and Bailey Keeler with 15, added some respectability to the score to combine for a 38-run stand for the seventh wicket. 

Returning for his second spell, White completed his five-wicket haul with the dismissal of Winsor and quickly mopped up the Kookaburras’ innings to claim a stunning 7/13, as Kookaburras fell 129 runs short at 71. 

Court House prevailed over Mornington in Gunnedah’s second fixture of the round after successfully chasing 101 runs for the loss of six wickets at Kitchener Oval.

Mornington won the toss and elected to bat first. The decision was well served through a brisk opening stand of 40 inside its first six overs by openers Henry Johns and Josh Langdon.

Court House opening bowler Peter McCormack put a halt to that stand, dismissing Langdon (caught) and quickly had Johns out in the same fashion in the space of two overs as Mornington players quickly found themselves at 2/44 after eight overs.

Court House continued to pick up vital wickets and when first change pacer Ben Irwin trapped Aaron Condrick LBW, Mornington had suffered a mini collapse to lose 3/1 in the space of three overs to be reduced to 3/45.

From there, only Matt Avendano provided any substance to the Mornington total, carrying his bat from after the second wicket and remaining not out on 29 at the end of the innings as the last seven wickets contributed just 46 runs. Wickets were shared by all Court House bowlers with opening bowler McCormack snaring 2/10 while Irwin was the only other multiple wicket taker with 2/13.

In pursuit of their target of 101 through opener Kyle Gallen, Court House raced to 20 without loss inside the first five overs.

Gallen’s opening partner Braithen Winsor was dismissed for six, and much like the Mornington innings, a shudder ran through the Court House top order.

Gallen was dismissed for 22 to make the score 2/31, and thereafter it became 5/47 by the 10th over following the dismissals of middle order bats Sam Doubleday, Ben Irwin and Keaton Walters, with Walters top scoring alongside Gallen on 22.

Nick Herring and Rhyce Kliendienst were the chief destroyers and bowled their respective eight-over opening spells straight – Herring snaring 3/48 and Kliendienst 2/27.

From 6/73 and in danger of not achieving their target, Court House’s Carter McIlveen and McCormack combined to steer the side to safety and complete the run chase with four wickets to spare in the 25th over.

McIlveen scored 21 not out and McCormack a crucial 11 not out in their 29-run stand winning stand.

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